Syncplicity (see previous CloudAve coverage), the cloud based file storage and management company, today revamped their channel strategy by opening up a Reseller Program. This is a step up from the referral programs that usually offer an one time referral fees and designed to maintain an ongoing relationship with their resellers. This will allow IT solution providers, consultants, VARs and resellers an easy way to add cloud-based storage and file management to their offerings.
Syncplicity offers their resellers the ability to offer trial versions of Syncplicity Business Edition and then offer the service at a much discounted rate. Resellers can upsell the service anyway they deem fit including wrapping it along with their existing services. Syncplicity provides the resellers with the following:
- Private Reseller Console to initiate and manage customer accounts
- Sales and marketing materials and tools
- Syncplicity Business Edition Demonstration Account to support your sales efforts
- Product training and documentation
- Reseller discount off the list price of Syncplicity Business Edition
- Brand association and logo branding
- Reseller support
- Online or telephone front-line customer support for your customers and you
How effective this channel is going to be for Syncplicity is something we need to wait and see. This is not something new in SaaS. Already, companies like Salesforce and Netsuite do this well in the enterprise space. However, it will be interesting to see how a startup like Syncplicity can leverage reseller channel effectively. Unlike the traditional software world, SaaS removes a big chunk of traditional services associated with installation, integration, infrastructure, maintenance, etc.. Resellers don’t find enough value to monetize effectively. It is a very low value business because the reseller commissions are spread out than a big one time payment (unless they get multi-year contract from the customers which is only possible in the enterprise space).
To overcome this drag, Syncplicity needs to offer them large discounts and other attractive options for them to build value on top of Syncplicity service. Big companies with deeper relationships with reseller can manage this more easily. Smaller companies like Syncplicity will find it more difficult to manage. It will be interesting to see how they manage it in the coming years. Hopefully, I get a peek at their performance after a year or two to learn more about the success and challenges they faced.